AmadorGold Home and Info Amador CommunitiesOur Online ToursAmador County OutdoorsTravelers DestinationsOur Guestbook

Timothy Hinckley

Born in Massachusetts on December 5, 1820, the day before the electoral college gave president James Monroe his second term. The Hinckleys then lived on Cape Cod. Arrived in Jackson circa 1849.

Hinckley Heights

Maybe only the family, neighborhood and the real estate agent know, Reader, that one of Jackson's his­toric spots is for sale (April, 1981). The property is only a city lot on Bright, with two frame houses sitting among towering trees, but its history goes back to the 1850's. Its name is "Hinckley oaks".

This is only the third or fourth time that the proper­has been for sale. The last time was in 1930! Its exchange now was caused by the death in Visalia lastt December of that distinguished octogenarian, Jan van Thiel, the longtime widower of Dorothy Sargent Thiel. Because the van Thiels were childless, his im­mediate survivors and heirs included a sister in Visalia, four nephews, including Ross Sargent of that place.

It is Sargent, perhaps representing the other heirs, has listed the property with a real estate broker. This the same Sargent, an attorney, who was an assembly candidate for this district in 1976. Considerably interested in the sale, of course, are Thompsons, Stikeleathers and Maxwells nearby at Gordon's hill. For the Gordon and Hinckley lines were united almost a century ago when Abby Caroline Hinckley married George A Gordon.

Thus, Gordon's hill and Hinckley oaks have been in location for 120 years or so, and when Timothy Hinckley passed away in 1897, the two properties, through Abby Gordon, had some common ownership. Then, in October, 1930, another of the county's pioneer families with roots at Middle bar, J.L. and Elizabeth Sargent, purchased Hinckley oaks from Abby Hinckley Gordon.

But Hinckley oaks is not historic just because it domeciled and sheltered two pioneer families, or has old homes on its knoll. It was here on July 3, 1863, digging a cellar for a new home, that Timothy Hinckley struck gold-bearing quartz! More on that

This Timothy Hinckley was Massachusetts born on December 5, 1820, the day before the electoral college president James Monroe his second term. The Hinckleys then lived on Cape Cod.

Not long after they moved across the sound to Nantucket, that 14-mile long island due south of the cape, maybe 15 miles east of the mainland and New Bedford.

The great whaling ships still sailed past "Great point" into the open sea, but that industry was dying. Still, young Hinckley ventured to the sea, but only in summer on a fishing boat. During the winter, he made shoes.

The gold discovery lured bachelor Hinckley, 28, aboard a multi-masted sailing ship bound for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Captain Worth was the skipper. Long at sea, the ship finally docked in October, 1849. Apparently, Hinckley traveled immediately to jackson's creek. There would be few who would arrive as early, settle and live a life through in Jackson as Hinckley did.

About then the mostly-tent camp got its name from "colonel" Jackson who may have arrived that spring, convincing most that he was a personage of distinction, and worthy to have a camp named after him. In Jackson's creek, Hinckley may have mined the placers like most or immediately claimed a spot on "Main" and opened a business. Logan doesn't know. But in October, 1852, when Jackson was county seat, and the county recorder's book was convenient, Hinckley claimed a lot on the easterly side of Main, about where "Ladies In Waiting" is today.

He would be in business there for over two more years before his fortunes changed.

Logan's Alley - Vol II, page 171

Return to Pioneer Families